This is one of my go to recipes for fussy eaters and for a quick dish where we all gather around the table. For as long as I can remember, when my mom made pasta and meat sauce the whole family was excited. It is full of flavour and includes as many or as few veggies as you like. If you dice them small enough I find most kids don’t even know that they are in there. I am crazy busy and since Lewiston’s passing my love for cooking just hasn’t been there. My goal lately has been to cook more as I love dinner time and us all sitting together with no phones! This meal is especially great if you are low on groceries and produce is looking, well lets just say, not so fresh  – a great way to use up veggies so they don’t go to waste. I think most times people hear pasta and don’t think it is healthy but the truth of the matter is picking the right type of pasta and watching your portion size is key. We use Catelli Gluten Free and Catelli Smart Veggie and love it.

Jess cooking pasta recipe in the kitchen with fresh produce.
Cooking one of my fav recipes for family dinner at a friends house.

Here is what you are going to need.  


  • 1 Package of Catelli Pasta (We use  the Gluten Free Spaghetti and Ronnie and Swayzie are really into the Smart Veggie Pasta)
  • 1 Pepper
  • 1 Handful of Asparagus
  • 1 Cup of Mushrooms
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Pinch of Basil
  • 1 tsp Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • 1 tsp Herbamare or Pink Himalayan salt or to taste
  • ½  Medium sized yellow Onion
  • 1 large clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil 1 tsp. sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1 Package Ground Beef or Ground Turkey
  • Extra Fresh Spinach to top it!
Love getting to cook with my little girl.


  1. If you want to make it meatless just skip this step. In a large frying pan fry up your favourite meat  – ground turkey or ground beef are my go to’s.  Brown all the meat on medium heat – ensure it is cooked thoroughly. Set aside in a large bowl. If there is any excess fat or grease I drain it.
  2. In the same pan add ½ onion diced small so you can add in your olive oil here if you wiped your pan totally clean from the meat or were not using the meat grease. Fry on medium heat for about 2 minutes or until onions look translucent. Once translucent add in 1 crushed clove of garlic.
  3. Add in 1-3 cups of veggies into the frying pan. This is where I experiment – I use what I have. My go-to’s are red and yellow peppers, asparagus, mushrooms, zucchini. *(Chopped celery, kale;  grated or finely chopped cauliflower works in the sauce.) You can dice however you like – I typically will  dice them small into 1cm pieces. Easy for kids to eat and not even notice if you have picky eaters.
  4. Stir all the veggies and onions together in frying pan – fry on medium heat for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Add in spices – Cumin, garlic powder, fresh ground pepper, pinch of basil.
  6. Pour back in the already cooked meat.
  7. Next Pour in Catelli Pasta Sauce – my fave is Tomato & Basil – simple yet delicious flavor and kids love it.  
  8. Stir all together and let simmer. Let the flavors come together – you can add more salt or pepper as desired.
  9. While the sauce simmers, put in your fave Catelli Pasta – I obviously cook GF for myself but go between Catelli Smart Veggie, Ancient Grains or Super Greens for the family (Simply follow the directions on Pasta Package)
  10. Plate Pasta, you can add a fresh bed of spinach if you want to add in more greens, top with your homemade pasta sauce and add fresh parmesan cheese if you so desire.
  11. Sit and enjoy with the family. (try to tuck the phone away for just 30 minutes)

I love that Swayzie loves to help me in the kitchen. It takes longer, is way messier but this is an activity I really do enjoy with her. I remember sitting around the table with my family for dinner and I love that we get to do this as a family. Meal time isn’t always perfect – in fact at this age with toddlers it can sometimes be frustrating or messy but always worth it. I am learning to let go of it all being perfect and just embracing the crazy. I always make extra or double my recipes so we can always have room for 1 more – my mom taught me that and it is one of my favourite lessons she instilled in me. Always a fun fact is that I grew up on a wheat farm and to know that Catelli pasta is made with Canadian wheat makes me mega proud.

**This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Catelli.**

All images shot by the mega talented Kara Rohl.